Arctic OffShore Patrol Ships

The first ships to be built in Halifax are the 3 Arctic Offshore Vesssels.
As this procurement program was begun several years ago, and Contracts for design work awarded in 2008, Presumably there is a design sitting in an office in Ottawa somewhere. The rendering above Comes from the DND project office, and represents the working design of the vessel.

Requirements (from DND)

  • Able to operate year-round in medium first-year ice as well as the open ocean areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Canadian EEZ;
  • Ice capability exclusively for their own mobility and not to provide icebreaking services to others;
  • Able to sustain operations for up to four months;
  • Range of at least six thousand eight hundred nautical miles;
  • Cruise speed of at least 14 knots and a maximum speed of at least 17 knots;
  • They will have a gun armament;
  • be capable of embarking and operating, in up to sea state three, an on-board organic helicopter, up to and including a CH 148 Cyclone, with one flying and one maintenance crew.

Its worth noting that these vessels displace 5780 tonnes compared to the Halifax class frigate’s 4750 t, and at 98m are not much smaller (aprox. 30m). The extra weight is Due to the ice class Hull. The top speed of 17 Knots, is not much faster then the Current MCDV’s top speed of 15. The Mcdv’s slow speed is what planers say make it unsuitable for Coastal Patrol, so these AOPS will likely be limited to the Arctic Area of Operations. For more, See:The Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) Projectand CASR

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3 thoughts on “Arctic OffShore Patrol Ships

  1. Mark, Ottawa

    See this post at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affair's Institute's "3Ds Blog":

    "Guess What? RCN’s Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship Not a Real Warship, or, the Constabulary Navy"

    Replacing the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels is in fact the main role the A/OPS are to perform:

    "…The primary tasks of the A/OPS would be to conduct sea-borne surveillance operations in Canada’s EEZs, including the Arctic; provide cross-governmental situation awareness of activities and events in the regions; and cooperate with other elements of the CF and other federal government departments to assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary.

    These ships will also provide the flexibility for the Navy to operate in both the Arctic and offshore environments, allowing them to be used year-round in a variety of roles, including domestic surveillance, search and rescue and support to other government departments…"

    Also the plan is to buy 6-8 but I'd bet on the least.


  2. Skipper

    Skipper, Halifax

    Prior to your post I have not seen the number 3 as the number of A/OPS to be built. While $3.1 billion appears to be too little to fund 6-8 ships and the shore support facilities in Nansivik, Esquimalt and Halifax, the operating concept planned by the Navy demands 4-5 ships.


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